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  • Woolchemy

Woolchemy raises $1.5M in seed round

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Round led by Even Capital with a mission to take New Zealand wool technology international.

5:00 AM NZST Wellington, 1 March 2023 – Material technology company Woolchemy, which is set to revolutionise the personal care materials industry, has raised 1.5 million NZD in venture funding. The round was led by Even Capital, alongside Vow Foundation, Booster, Pacific Channel, Opepe Farm Trust, and Tupu Angitu. Woolchemy also received a grant from MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund.

The investment will be used for global expansion and commercialisation of its two core products: neweFlex, a moisture distribution layer in single-use items such as diapers and menstrual support and neweZorb, durable, superabsorbent material for reusable hygiene products. These fabrics are sold to global external manufacturers to use in their own line of products.

Synthetic textiles, such as polypropylene, polyethylene and polyester, are primarily derived from fossil fuels, such as petroleum. These are used in both disposable and reusable textile items and are classified as one of the largest waste contributors around the world. The transition to natural fibres is a growing necessity, and Woolchemy innovations aim to tackle these matters.

Derelee Potroz-Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Woolchemy, says: “At Woolchemy, we have massive global ambitions in developing high-performance hygiene materials using the power of wool. This investment is an exciting step forward in tackling a $165 billion NZD global market where synthetic textiles are used as the current alternative.”

“Consumer and legislative pressures only continue to grow, and hygiene product manufacturers are actively looking for ways to solve the plastic, waste and pollution problems associated with their current products. We're excited about the value our new investors will bring as we transform both the hygiene sector and the New Zealand wool industry with much-needed innovation.”

Lead investment from Even Capital was highly aligned with Woolchemy, as New Zealand’s only female-founded, funded and focused high-growth venture capital fund.

Sarah Park, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Even Capital says “Woolchemy holds enormous potential to not just innovate, but to redefine the personal hygiene category at a global level, and alongside the all-female team, that really motivated us to lead this investment round.”

“Not only is the scale of the opportunity for the technology impressive, but the solution will enhance the economic return for Kiwi wool farmers and strengthen the profitability and viability of the sheep farming industry, one of our nation’s primary exports, well into the future.”

Woolchemy expands board

To help guide the next phase of the company’s growth, Richard Cutfield has been appointed to the Woolchemy board as our Investor Appointed Non-Executive Director. Richard brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Woolchemy, having spent several years in corporate finance, private equity, executive management and governance roles, including serving on the boards of Methven, Formway, Goodnature, and more.


Visual assets can be found here.

About Woolchemy

Woolchemy is a material technology company that aims to transform New Zealand sheep wool into a valuable base material using sustainable, environmental and ethical processes. Founded in 2010 by Derelee Potroz-Smith and Angela Potroz, Woolchemy has patented two products, neweZorb and neweFlex, which aim to revolutionise the personal care textiles industry by transforming wool into both an ultra-absorbent reusable and disposable material.

Woolchemy media contact:

Sling & Stone

Grace Ballinger

+64 21 181 4672

About Even Capital

Even Capital is the only female-founded, female-funded and female-focused growth-stage venture capital fund in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Co-founded by investor duo Anna Stuck and Sarah Park in 2021, Even is guided by values grounded in equality, environmental, societal and governance responsibility, with the distinct ambition to even out the balance when it comes to giving female-led / female-founded businesses the opportunity to access the funding they deserve.

Even Capital media contact:

Applause Communications Ltd

Alice Mckay

+64 21 847 795

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